Ryan Benjamin ’10 determines risk and promotes inclusion at Moody’s Analytics Twitter
Finding ways to determine the risks and potential of financial investments spurs the imagination of Ryan Benjamin ’10, assistant director/senior financial engineer at Moody’s Analytics, which provides research, software, and advisory services to global risk-management companies.
“I love solving puzzles,” says Benjamin, who majored in computer science at Lafayette. He uses mathematical formulas and writes computer programs to create models of structured finance securities. He designs technical specifications and tests new features for Moody’s analytical software. He is currently leading the design and creation of a new loan-matching algorithm.
“One of my first projects was to continue to build out an automatic process that ensures the quality of our data and models,” he says. “To do this I had to use a lot of clever and powerful programming techniques that I learned at Lafayette.”
Benjamin enjoys connecting with people, too. At work, this takes several forms, including presenting on-site demonstrations of products for prospective customers and consulting with risk-analysis clients on ways to customize Moody’s software to build their own internal analytical tools.
He also assists Moody’s administrators in planning programs for employees and in efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion. He works with the human resources office regarding diversity recruitment and attends company-sponsored luncheons at which college and high school students learn about careers in the finance industry.
A project of particular importance to Benjamin grew out of a conversation with an employee group about a way that Moody’s could support local youth in New York City.
“We started a program in which employees can mentor and interact with young men of color in their sophomore year of high school to ensure that they are focused not only on graduating but also on continuing their education,” he says. “It is modeled after the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.”
Being connected to Lafayette is important to him as well.
“Friendships and experiences I have had at Lafayette continue to impact my life and career today,” Benjamin says. “Whether I’m catching up with a friend or meeting students or alums, I am inspired by others and their stories.”
His experiences as a member of the debate team and a Posse Scholar were particularly influential, he says. He remains involved in the life of the College and serves as an inspiration himself.
“Debate teaches you how to construct arguments in a logical way and improves your public speaking and writing skills,” he says. “Most of all, it teaches you to first listen and then think critically about a response. I use these skills daily in meetings and to make business decisions.”
His Lafayette coaches, Scott Placke and John Boyer, continue to call on him to participate in judging both college and high school debates.
Benjamin also points to the value of interpersonal skills he learned through his experiences at Posse retreats.
“The retreats brought together representatives from all communities at Lafayette,” he says, “Emphasis was placed on the importance of hearing and understanding points of view different from your own, a skill that is crucial for interacting in the world today.”